Armenia-Kazakhstan Schedule Released

VATICAN CITY, JULY 25, 2001 ( The Vatican has released John Paul II´s schedule for his trip to the two former Soviet republics of Armenia and Kazakhstan, which will take place from Sept. 22-27.

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In Armenia, where he will attend celebrations for the 1,700th anniversary of Christianity in the country, the Holy Father will go on a pilgrimage in the footsteps of St. Gregory the Illuminator.

The Pope will leave from Rome´s Leonardo da Vinci airport on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 8:30 a.m., and arrive in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, at 7:30 p.m., local time. He will stay in Astana over the two following days.

On Tuesday, Sept. 25, the Holy Father will take a four-hour flight from Astana to Yerevan in Armenia. He will leave Astana at 11 a.m., local time, and arrive at Yerevan´s Zvarnotz international airport at 1 p.m., local time. He will then travel a half-hour by car to Etchmiadzine, see of the Catholicos.

On Wednesday, Sept. 26, he will return by car to Yerevan. The following day he will make a round trip to Etchmiadzine-Yerevan. From Etchmiadzine he will travel to Khor Virab, a shrine dedicated to St. Gregory the Illuminator. This saint was imprisoned for 15 years by the king, before the latter was miraculously cured through the saint´s intercession.

From Khor Virab the Pope will take a 45-minute car ride to Yerevan, and leave from that city´s airport for Rome. He will depart Zvarnotz airport at 7:30 p.m. local time, and arrive in Rome´s Ciampino airport at 8:45 p.m., Roman time.

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